Galeries St. Hubert (1846), Brussels
3. One book you would want on a desert island? Something large, omnivorous, digressive, its curiosity knowing no boundaries, a sort of uber-Merzbau that might serve as a microcosm of the world I left behind, “the theater of all my struggles and all my ideas,” Walter Benjamin’s The Arcades Project. –girish
The Arcades Project site was created and is maintained by Heather Marcelle Crickenberger.
“It is part of a doctoral dissertation that is scheduled to be completed May 2006 at the University of South Carolina. Much of the bibliographic infomation required of such a project is yet to be included.” [Oct 2006]
Here is the list of convolutes she features.
Convolute is a multifaceted word that connotes “To make something unnecessarily complex; to fold or coil into numerous overlapping layers; to twist someone’s words to fit a desired meaning that was not intended by the speaker.”
If I understand correctly (without direct access to a paper copy (mine is on the way from Germany)), Walter Benjamin used the concept in his Arcades Project ; konvolutes were sections in a collection of thousands of index cards on which he transcribed quotations and notations. It was a cross-referenced system not shying away from ambiguity and ambivalence; seeking its power in opposition and confusion, an early version of fragmented modernity and harbinger of postmodernity.
I would like to call for an Arcades Project blogathon. There is no deadline. By way of inspiration I offer you the following concepts
in praise of convolution
in praise of variety
in praise of flânerie
in praise of juxtaposition
in praise of multifacetedness
The “rhizome” allows for multiple,
non-hierarchical entry and exit points
in data representation and interpretation.
–Mille Plateaux – Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari,
volume 2 of Capitalisme et Schizofrénie (1980)